Pleasures in "Republic" Ix

Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin (2004)

Mehmet M. Erginel
Eastern Mediterranean University
My dissertation is on Plato's view on pleasure. I focus on the Republic, where Plato offers his first systematic treatment of pleasure and pain. Plato's thought on pleasure, and in particular his view on the truth and falsity of pleasure, has received no small degree of attention in the secondary literature during the past few decades. Despite the amount of work that has been done, however, Plato's thought on pleasure and pain has not been adequately understood, as scholars have persistently underappreciated the treatment offered in Republic IX. ;The account and evaluation of pleasures in Republic IX has often been criticized as fraught with serious problems and inadequacies. It has been argued that the account not only fails to describe the role of pleasure in our lives accurately, but is also inconsistent and full of ambiguity. The inconsistency attributed to the account in essays by Dorothea Frede is supposedly between two distinct criteria that the account employs for the evaluation of pleasures. Dorothea Frede also claims, with Gosling and Taylor, that Plato's account contains fatal ambiguities. I argue that all of the above charges are false. I show that a careful examination of Plato's text reveals his account of pleasure to be consistent, coherent, and compelling. Since Plato offers his account of pleasure by way of proving that the pleasures of the rational part of the soul are most pleasant, dismissing the charges also requires a close reading of the passages in Book IV concerning the Platonic division of the soul into three parts. I show that Plato's view on pleasure and his division of the soul are mutually corroborative. The interpretation I develop allows us to see that Plato's view on the best life is much less austere and much more livable than critics have claimed
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,107
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes